Harrison Township: Garbageville

| Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Welcome to Garbageville, i.e., Harrison Township.

I recently visited the Harrison ordinance and zoning offices and complained about non-containerized garbage, open garbage containers and debris stored in alleys. Residents must think the garbage collectors clean up the mess, but that is not their job. In the meantime, the wind blows, the birds peck open plastic bags and dogs, raccoons and other animals scavenge for food. It's a mess.

The ordinance reads: “Residents are responsible for taking their garbage to the curb or alley and returning containers to their property.”

When I asked the township solicitor, Charles Means, for his opinion on what to do, he said a garbage container placed close to the alley is located on the owner's property under the ordinance. Even though the garbage cans may be located within the township's alley right-of-way, he said, they are still located upon the property of the owners, not on township property.

Huh? So even if a can is in the middle of the township's road, Harrison considers that our property. And although no property owner has recorded title to the middle of the alleys, the township says it's ours.

What next? Will we be forced to pay back taxes and future taxes on our new “property?”

The good news is with all of the garbage, property devaluation might lower our taxes.

What happened to the welfare of the community?

Syl Cieslinski


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